Physical Education for Body Mind Spirit
Setting Up a Program
Course Plans PE Standards and Curricula

Welcome to the Body Mind Spirit Website!

photo of two students

Since 2005, the Physical Education for Body, Mind and Spirit (BMS) project has been offering martial arts and yoga classes to Alternative Education Program (AEP) students in Santa Cruz, California. These students — who are often faced with challenging circumstances — can particularly benefit from new and positive ways of viewing themselves and the world around them. Such new perspectives can be found in the physical and mental training — and philosophical, cultural and ethical perspectives — embedded in many martial arts and yoga disciplines. New possibilities open up for the students when they are equipped with new skills, stronger bodies, and connections to a practice and to positive role models.

Clearly the need to increase physical activity among our youth is imperative, given the disturbing national statistics on childhood obesity and other youth-related health issues. School-based programs provide a valuable opportunity to do just that. These programs have a positive impact not only on students but also on their families, teachers and communities.

By exploring this website and taking an interest in starting a martial arts–based and/or yoga-based PE program at your school, you are taking a step toward tapping into the potential of your students.

What you will find on this website:

  • Recommendations for creating a successful martial arts and/or yoga-based PE program based on the BMS program, a three-year demonstration project funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Carol M. White grants and implemented by Education, Training and Research Associates (ETR) and the Santa Cruz County Office of Education.
  • Our experience designing, implementing and modifying several styles of martial arts and yoga classes in Alternative Education Program classrooms.
  • A holistic approach to physical education that supports psychological, interpersonal, spiritual, cognitive and physical development.
  • Resources for schools such as checklists, steps to follow, worksheets and equipment lists for getting a martial arts and/or yoga program "up and running." For your convenience, downloadable pdf versions of of these materials are available in Program Tables, Materials and Worksheets in the Setting Up a Program section.
  • Information for martial arts and yoga instructors to help them work effectively with students in Alternative Education Programs.
  • Resources for administrators to support their efforts at funding martial arts and/or yoga programs in their school or district. These resources include talking points on the potential benefits of such a program, evaluation results from the Body Mind and Spirit project, and more.
  • Course plans and curricula for martial arts and yoga styles that are designed to match the specific learning needs of Alternative Education Program students and are linked to PE standards.
  • A 20-lesson classroom-based nutrition and fitness curriculum — Come and Get It: Nutrition and Physical Fitness for Lifelong Healthdesigned to match the specific learning needs of Alternative Education Program students.
  • A 20-lesson martial arts and fitness curriculum — Martial Arts Fitness. This experiential course was developed specifically for the BMS project by Sensei Lori Mullen, a martial arts instructor with her black belt in Chinese Gung-fu.
  • A pdf version of the Program Guide for Developing Martial Arts and Yoga Programs in Alternative Education Settings. This 129-page program guide was developed by project staff and is a print version of the information found on this website.